As we look to the year ahead, many of us are setting new year’s resolutions and goal planning. It is also a time of year when professionals reflect on their careers, reassessing goals and priorities.
When an unprecedented number of American students lack access to STEM education, for non-profit organization EnCorps, this period of annual reflection among STEM professionals is a timely opportunity to connect qualified STEM experts who are seeking more professional fulfillment, with students in urgent need of qualified educators. Many STEM trained professionals in the U.S. are searching for more from their work experience, or yearning to have a real impact on the future generation of STEM.
EnCorps provides STEM professionals with avenues to transition into teaching roles seamlessly. The organization’s mission is to address the urgent teacher shortage and inequity in STEM education by providing opportunities for STEM experts to connect with students, and pave their path to a teaching career.
Why Teach STEM? The Power of Impact
Teaching is not merely a job. It’s a vocation that offers a profound sense of purpose, impact, and achievement. Many STEM professionals yearn for a deeper connection with their work. Many of them went into the STEM professions to solve a real problem and becoming a STEM teacher gives them that opportunity. Others feel impelled to have an impact on the next generation or to contribute a legacy of value. The connection these professionals are seeking is a driving force for dedicated STEM professionals to inspire the next generation and help shape the future of STEM.
The demand for skilled and passionate STEM educators is acute. EnCorps recognizes this demand and believes that every student, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, must have access to high-quality STEM education. By recruiting STEM professionals, EnCorps strives to bridge the gap between the talent pool within these professions and the underserved schools that require knowledgeable educators.
Navigating the Transition: EnCorps Support
How does EnCorps create effective avenues for working and retired STEM professionals to turn their teaching aspirations into reality? A key component of the program is a 10 week guest teaching experience that helps STEM professionals gain classroom experience before they commit to a career change. Pictured above are EnCorps Fellow, Yan Hu with her dedicated EnCorps Program Coordinator, Carolyn Fernandez after Hu completed her Take-Over day. After 10 weeks as a guest teacher, Hu’s Take-Over Day provided her with the opportunity to teach a 90 minute 10th grade math class. “Without EnCorps, I would not be on this path,” says Hu, a computer scientist who is exploring a teaching career. “EnCorps provided me with networking opportunities as well as the learning modules to be educated about teaching.”
The organization also acts as a liaison, assisting and supporting qualified professionals who are interested in becoming teachers, with finding the needed support, resources and training. Often, EnCorps’ involvement in a teacher’s journey expedites and streamlines the process toward credentialing. The organization does its part to drive STEM qualified educators into California and New York area high-need schools, through a number of thoughtfully designed programs:
- Identification & Recruitment of Qualified STEM Teachers
- Provision of Guidance & Resources as well as Fequently Asked Questions to Facilitate the Career Change into Teaching
- Guest Teaching Programs
- STEMx Volunteer Tutor Program to Support Middle School Math Students’ Success
The feedback from many STEM professionals-turned-teachers who benefited from EnCorps’ robust support while shifting to the education sector is overwhelmingly positive. “The EnCorps program is very structured,” explains EnCorps Fellow Frank Chuang, PhD in mechanical engineering. “I began with three weeks of classroom observation focused on a specific theme each week. I then began working with students during their group work, followed by co-teaching a few lessons, and finally preparing and teaching my 90 minute take-over day class.”(full article)
From locating the best training programs, to guest teaching placements and tutoring opportunities, EnCorps provides a range of resources to equip STEM experts with the tools and resources needed to thrive in a classroom setting.
Whether your field of passion is mathematics, physics, biology, or any other STEM discipline, we invite you to learn more about our programs. We would be happy to help pave the way on your path to your new career path, and we are honored to be a part of dedicated STEM teachers fostering a new wave of inspiration and excellence in STEM education.
For more information, visit: https://encorps.org/teach/